King of Leogrance has been scratched from the Melbourne Cup in some early drama on race day.
A member of Danny O’Brien’s stable, the international horse was pulled after a veterinary inspection on Tuesday morning.
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The inspection revealed King of Leogrance was lame in his off foreleg.
“It's one of those things that happens,” owner Nick Williams told racing.com.
“He must have a bit of a bruise there somewhere or an abscess brewing. It would be one of the two.
“If it had have arrived yesterday we probably could have treated it and had some chance. If it arrived tomorrow it wouldn't have been a problem.
“Unfortunately it arrived today. There's nothing we can do about it.”
Williams said the news was devastating for O'Brien and the team.
“It's terribly disappointing when you have to pull a horse out on race morning, in particular in a race as big as the Melbourne Cup,” he said.
“I feel terribly disappointed for Danny (O'Brien and his team), who have looked after this horse since he has been down there.
“They put their heart and soul into it.
“They would have gone to bed last night thinking they were taking a horse to the Melbourne Cup and to get there this morning and find him with a pulse in his foot would be terribly disappointing for them more than anyone.”
Aiden O’Brein with two Melbourne Cup favourites
Another O’Brien - Aiden - has settled on untapped potential and established quality as the Irish training maestro tries to win the Melbourne Cup for the first time.
O’Brien went close to winning last year’s Cup with Il Paradiso, and two of the favourites in Tiger Moth and Anthony Van Dyck will represent the champion trainer’s famous Ballydoyle stable on Tuesday.
Anthony Van Dyck won the 2019 English Derby and ran second to Verry Elleegant in the Caulfield Cup, while Tiger Moth will attempt to win the Melbourne Cup at only his fifth start.
O’Brien's son Joseph won the 2017 Melbourne Cup with Rekindling at that stayer’s 10th start, while 2018 winner Cross Counter saluted for Godolphin at his eighth appearance.
O’Brien's travelling foreman TJ Comerford said the camp had no concerns about Tiger Moth’s lack of race experience, suggesting a stable quinella at Flemington was possible.
“To have one runner is great, to have two in it is better again,” he said.
“It’s grand, it's a great race. We've always run well in the race, our horses have competed well.
“It'd be great to win it but it's not as simple as that.
“I wouldn't have one over the other even if you give me a free bet there I might struggle.”
Danny O'Brien will again stand in the way of the Irish challenge after winning last year with Vow And Declare.
Vow And Declare will be one of the Flemington trainer’s three runners along with Russian Camelot and Miami Bound.
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